King Gabe Rosado crowns career with KO win over Bektimir Melikuziev
San Diego, Calif., June 19, 2021 – Veteran ‘King’ Gabe Rosado delivered a magnificent Knockout of the Year candidate in his upset victory over super middleweight prospect Bektimir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan to steal the show in El Paso Saturday.
After Rosado’s narrow split decision loss in his last fight against Daniel Jacobs, the victory was especially sweet. Everyone but two judges believes he won in his best performance in years. Golden Boy executive and fellow Philadelphia native Bernard Hopkins celebrated with Rosado, trainers Freddie Roach, Marvin Samodio, promoter Oscar De La Hoya, and the entire crowd.
Rosado (29-14-1, 15 KOs) had to take a knee early in the first round when Melikuziev went to the body early. It was a veteran move to gather his wits that paid off. Rosado said Melikuziev caught him because he was trying to time his counterpunches, and the younger man beat him to the punch.
“Man, when he put me down with that body shot, it was vicious,” admitted Rosado. “I went to the corner; I said, ‘this is the price you have to pay if you want to win. If you want to be a champion, get up, and let’s go.’ He’s a strong body puncher. I knew I could get him back.”
Rosado stayed composed and gave himself a few more rounds. Then, when he saw his opening, he fired an overhand right counterpunch, dropping Melikuziev face down to the canvas at 1:21 of round 3.
“What I saw, I saw I could catch him in between,” said Rosado. “I saw when he was going to the body, I was catching him and going underneath. So I just said, ‘Look, he’ll keep pressing and pressing. Let me keep timing him.’ I knew when I went to the corner, he would go to the body. I just stepped to his right, and that was it.”
Rosado credited “pure heart and the will to win” and the refusal to go home with a second loss. His career now has a new life at age 35.
“We beat Danny Jacobs, I don’t care what they say. We beat Danny Jacobs, everybody knows. Rosado says. “We just beat this kid. Back-to-back strong wins.”
Rosado says he’d like a shot now at Jaime Munguia – but who wouldn’t like to see him against another Mexican super middleweight? If anyone deserves to win the Canelo sweepstakes, it’s the hard-working and well-liked Rosado.
Jaime Munguia stays undefeated
The main event became an afterthought. Middleweight Jaime Munguia of Tijuana (37-0, 30 KOs) faced minimal resistance from opponent Kamil Szeremeta of Poland (21-2, 6 KOs), delivering six rounds of solid work for a TKO win. Unfortunately, Szeremeta had nothing to offer, and his corner wisely waved off the fight knowing the next six rounds would be more of the same.
Munguia stopped Szeremeta one round sooner than Gennadiy Golovkin did in December, but Golovkin scored four knockdowns in his victory. Wins look the same in the record books, but even a diminished version of Golovkin seems to have little to fear from Munguia.
“It’s my third fight at middleweight. I feel more established at middleweight. The best is yet to come,” said Munguia.
He said he’s learning a lot through three fights with trainer Erik Morales and would like a title fight by the end of the year. But he also said a Mexico vs. Puerto Rico bout would be “really good,” meaning with Rosado.
Marlen Esparza wins the World Flyweight title
Marlen Esparza of Houston (10-1, 1 KO) is the new WBC World Flyweight champion after squeaking out a unanimous decision win over Isbeth Zamora Silva of Mexico (32-7, 12 KOs). Scores were 97-92, 96-94, and 95-94. Esparza suffered a knockdown in the first round. It settled her nerves and forced her to focus against the volume punching Zamora.
“It was difficult. She throws a lot. I understand why people think she’s aggressive, but she wasn’t landing. She’s a very good opponent,” said the new champion Esparza.
Esparza admitted she let her defense go, allowing the early knockout. She said he talked to God, and thought about the losses she’s experienced and survived out of the ring. The positive thinking pushed her to win the fight.
In the opening bout, flamboyant middleweight Blair “The Flair” Cobbs of Las Vegas (15-0-1, 10 KOs) delivered a hard-hitting performance against durable journeyman Brad Solomon (29-4, 9 KOs) with a fifth-round TKO. Cobbs is improving under the guidance of Marvin Samodio and Freddie Roach, and his entertainment value is undeniable.
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